Pressure groups attacking landlords and letting agents are usually on the other side of the fence from property industry professionals but a new online licensing website has won support from both.
London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan this week launched his Property Licensing Checker, a PropTech tool that allows tenants to see if the home they rent should have a local authority licence - although it does not directly say whether the landlord of the specific property has obtained such a licence.
This has won support from both Safeagent and Generation Rent.
Safeagent, an accreditation service, supports it as a simple mechanism for landlords, agents and tenants to understand and negotiate the myriad of licensing schemes in the capital, but would ideally want it to be more informative.
Chief executive Isobel Thomson says: “However, based on the answers given, the checker only indicates whether a licence is required and not if a licence has been applied for or approved. The success of this initiative depends on the information being accurate and all parties being correctly advised of their legal responsibilities. We would encourage everyone to cross reference the information with each Borough's website to ensure compliance.”
And Dan Wilson Craw, deputy director of the Generation Rent pressure group, writes on Twitter: “If councils want to rid the rental market of criminals they must make it easy for renters to play their essential role (and win back rent.) That’s why we’ve been calling for online rental checkers like the one Sadiq Khan has announced.”